Cover: The Wolf at the Door: The Menace of Economic Insecurity and How to Fight It, from Harvard University PressCover: The Wolf at the Door in HARDCOVER

The Wolf at the Door

The Menace of Economic Insecurity and How to Fight It

[An] eye-opener for anyone interested in tracing the origins of economic insecurity in the U.S.—Arthur Zaczkiewicz, Women’s Wear Daily

Graetz and Shapiro wrestle with a fundamental question of our day: How do we address a system that makes too many Americans anxious that economic security is slipping out of reach? Their cogent call for sensible and achievable policies offers a pathway back to functional governance and should be read by progressives and conservatives alike.—Jacob J. Lew, 76th U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

In The Wolf at the Door, Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro trace masterfully the sources of insecurity increasingly haunting millions of Americans. Not content to tell the tale or just focus on politicians’ desire to exploit that insecurity, they consider important policy ideas to reward work and bolster individuals’ ability to cope with economic shifts beyond their control. The thesis of the book and its recommendations are a must-read for any serious observer of what is happening to the American economy and body politic today.—Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School, former chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers

Smart, interesting, and important, The Wolf at the Door tackles the topic of policy and political responses to economic insecurity and political dysfunction with concrete recommendations and evidentiary backing. Graetz and Shapiro write with vigor and clarity, telling readers directly what policies and politics are empirically supportable, feasible, and normatively desirable, and what are not.—Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University

Two books in one! A concise, trenchant, and very readable history of how economic insecurity produced today’s American populism—and a thoughtful, politically realistic, economically sound set of remedies for those who know both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are onto something, but who also know their answers to American economic insecurity won’t succeed.—David Wessel, The Brookings Institution

Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro take a hard and pragmatic look at how America can ameliorate its inequality, focusing especially on ‘bottom-up’ approaches. Their work is deep, informed, and reeks of common sense. This book should be read by every presidential candidate and every lawmaker.—Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

It is now beyond debate that rising inequality is not only leaving millions of Americans living on a sharp edge but also is threatening our democracy. Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro provide a fresh, insightful look at how we got here and, more to the point, how we might work our way out. For activists and scholars alike who are struggling to create a more equitable society, this is an essential read.—David Gergen, Professor at Harvard Kennedy School and adviser to four U.S. presidents

This is a terrific book, original, erudite, and superbly well-informed, and full of new wisdom about what might and what might not help the majority of Americans who have not shared in our growing prosperity, but are left facing the wolf at the door. Shapiro and Graetz use coalition building as their organizing principle, explaining the coalitions behind previous policy successes, and suggesting what sort of new coalitions could get us out of the current mess. They have a brilliantly startling suggestion for Medicare for all, by extending it first, not to the near old, but to the young. They make a powerful case for a value added tax, and against the idea that the wolf can be seen off only by taxing the rich. Everyone interested in public policy should read this book.—Angus Deaton, Princeton University and the University of Southern California

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Coming Good Society: Why New Realities Demand New Rights, by William F. Schulz and Sushma Raman, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with William F. Schulz and Sushma Raman, authors of The Coming Good Society: Why New Realities Demand New Rights

As times change so must we as a society, and that includes our conception of rights, say William F. Schulz and Sushma Raman, whose new book, The Coming Good Society: Why New Realities Demand New Rights, came out just as Black Lives Matter protesters filled the streets this summer. We spoke with them about the current view—and the future—of human rights. How do you understand the purpose of rights? What function do they serve in a society?